Liner Notes: Riders



Almost every famous performer has something the entertainment industry likes to call a rider. This is a written document that the performer creates with specific demands for the things they want as criteria for their performance. Anything from requesting to have two cases of bottled drinking water behind stage to requesting one package of Swedish Fish in their dressing room can be found on a band or performer’s tour rider. Those two things are actual requests from Justin Bieber’s rider.

After looking at some bands’ riders, I thought it was interesting to see what kind of strange requests they make. For example, Aerosmith requests that their VIP guest room be decorated in Eastern Indian Style. They also request that there be no alcoholic beverages available throughout their entire performance day.

When Lady Antebellum was in town, a source told me they requested to have lamps in their dressing rooms and to not use the real lights while doing their makeup. The lighting from the lamps are closer to the stage lighting so they do their makeup according to that. They also asked for manicure and pedicures once they were in town. I can vouch for that.

If I was a famous performer, I would abuse the power of being able to make specific requests. I mean, I wouldn’t be too weird or too crazy; I would try to make things a little more comfortable.

For starters, I would have to have water. I mean, I’m a singer – I must keep this voice of mine clean and clear. I might also request having some of my favorite foods and drinks.

But, some performers do not abuse their fame and power. Carrie Underwood doesn’t turn in a rider. She says that water is all she needs.

I find it really interesting to see what little things performers require in order for their performance to happen. I can only wonder what Justin Bieber would do if he didn’t get his Swedish Fish.

Column by Anna Taylor, Features Editor.